Do You Know What's In Your Pet's Food?

Dog looking at steak and ignoring dry dog food

How would you like to live out your entire life eating a commercially prepared food that comes packaged in a bag, box or can? Would you miss the variety of fresh meats, vegetables, and fruits? Would eating dead processed food with very little nutritional value support your good health and promote longevity? I cannot speak for anyone but do know that I would not look forward to eating something like Cheerios for my entire life!

What many people fail to remember is that our pets are intelligent beings that do not need us to survive. Their way of life along with their way of communicating differs from our human ways, but they too also enjoy a variety of fresh foods. No animal living in the wild will ever find a can or bag of food growing anywhere in nature. If an animal does not catch fresh meat, then they will graze off the land and or fast, which is actually quite healthy for them just as it is for human beings.

Something else that many of us seem to forget is the pet food industry is a multi-billion dollar business that is in business to make money. Before its existence, working animals and pets lived on whatever their owners fed them. Some lived on table scraps - others in wealthier homes were fed better meals than most humans eat today. At some point, the pet food industry decided that our pets should no longer eat raw meat or natural foods etc. This money making business along with Big Pharma also penetrated the veterinarian schools. In addition to learning life-saving medical procedures, veterinarian students are trained to treat various conditions with drugs rather than cure. Students learn about pet nutrition via the pet food industry. Major pet food companies also sponsor continuing education in pet nutrition at these schools.

Many veterinarians today promote Hills and Science Diet, which is manufactured by Colgate-Palmolive. Mars and Nestle are two of the largest pet food manufacturer in the world. In addition to manufacturing other unrelated products, Mars and Nestle also manufacture pet foods for numerous companies that do not have their own manufacturing facilities. The incomplete list below reflects some companies that share the same manufacturer.

Companies under the Mars umbrella include Iams - Royal Canine - Pedigree - Whiskas - Sheba - Eukanuba- Temptations.

Companies under the Nestle umbrella include Purina - Fancy Feast - Gourmet - Friskas - Alpo.

The pet food industry is not much different than the human food industry. They also make false claims in order to convince us that their so-called "Healthy" or "All Natural" diets are good for our pets when they are anything but. It would not be cost effective for pet food manufacturers to use high-quality ingredients for anyone pet food company. Additionally, most pet food companies do not include the more expensive and fragile vitamins and minerals in their formula. Even if they did then these more expensive essentials would only be destroyed like many of the other added vitamins and minerals through high heat sterilization processing temperatures. Furthermore, if any ingredient at one of these manufacturers is bad then it is a given that any company using this same ingredient in their formula will also be selling bad pet food.

Unlike human foods, the FDA is not as stringent with pet foods. This lack enables the pet food industry to use inferior meats, meat meals, by-products, food coloring, natural and artificial flavorings, along with many other ingredients that are not healthy for human or animal. Another aspect that many do not realize is that some of the meats in pet food diets actually contain diseased cattle, tumor-ridden chickens, rotten road kill and even euthanized dogs and cats from around the country.

There are numerous articles regarding this subject online. See: What’s Killing Our Pets? and Pet Food Test Results for some shocking insight.

Just like the pet food industry, veterinarian business has also grown drastically over the years. Insurance companies have even gotten involved with this big money-making business. You can now purchase coverage for your pet (s) to help with some of the expensive veterinarian costs. Unfortunately, caretakers, today must be extremely proactive in this money making business. We must educate ourselves. We must ask our veterinarians more questions in order to protect our pet's health and not assume they know best. See: The High-Cost, High-Risk World of Modern Pet Care

Bottom line, there is a place for both conventional and complimentary holistic medicine. Conventional medicine tends to employ invasive procedures and drugs in their treatment plans. Drugs come with various side effects that most veterinarians do not relay. These side effects can cause additional symptoms that will usually require another drug to treat. Drugs are toxic poisons that can damage the internal organs - they should be used sparingly, especially on highly sensitive animal beings that are not designed to live as long as human beings. Drugs serve to suppress symptoms and compromise the body's immune system, which decreases its natural ability to heal itself. Whereas, complimentary holistic medicine tends to employ a combination of natural remedies that support the internal organs. Unlike conventional drugs, natural foods and remedies work in harmony with the body to encourage and strengthen its ability to heal/cure itself.

No doubt, commercial pet foods are a cost-effective convenience that makes it very easy for us to take care of our pets. However, these commercial foods are dead foods that do not provide any life force nutrients to support good health. Many pets today display a variety of physical, mental and emotional symptoms. Pets with symptoms are usually carted off to a veterinarian to be diagnosed. At the very least, a diagnosis usually leads to a toxic drug, which may or may not help our pets but will feed BIG Pharma.

Our pets cannot tell us when they are not feeling well, which means caretakers must develop more awareness. We must train ourselves to notice even the slightest physical, mental and emotional symptoms and address them before they become serious medical problems. Is your pet overly shy, fearful or aggressive? Is your pet overweight or too thin? Are your pet's stools normal in size and color? Does your pet strain to pass a stool? Does your pet itch excessively? Etc, etc.

Knowing what is going on with your pet is very important because their survival instincts enable them to mask or hide serious physical symptoms. It is in their best interest to look as healthy as they can for as long as they can. Animals can live with a terminal condition for years before serious symptoms surface. Some hide their symptoms right up until their death. Others provide some notice and will demonstrate serious symptoms days or weeks before they die. Note: There is a very short window of opportunity to diagnose and successfully treat by the time an animal with a terminal condition displays serious symptoms.

In closing, my practice work with animals has taught me that it is best to keep things pure and simple. Animals are highly sensitive creatures that have the ability to heal very quickly and can slow the progression of a terminal illness down when the correct treatment is employed. Preventing or reversing the progression of illness and disease begins with high-quality nutrition. Food is medicine for human and animal - it is fuel for the body. Using cheap fuel in our cars will eventually lead to expensive repairs and a physical body is no different.

Most all medical symptoms plaguing pets today is related to their diet. The following is one example of many. Kidney disease is quite common in cats. Domestic cats are descendants of their desert-dwelling ancestors that did not drink much water. Cats are carnivores by nature. Their protein and fluid requirements are met through meat and blood. However, domestic cats living on a dry food diet tend to drink more water to make up for the lack of moisture in the dry food. This extra water drinking is not enough to support their system, which means cats live in a constant state of mild dehydration. This prolonged state of dehydration causes damage over time - it leads to urinary crystals, bladder infections, and kidney disease etc.

In addition to every other life choice made for a pet, caretakers also select their food, and if you do nothing else for your pet, then the following is one simple golden rule to follow for your pet's sake.

Read the ingredients listed on the can or bag of your pet's food. If you do not know what any ingredient is, cannot pronounce it and would not eat it yourself then you should not feed it to your pet, period.